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Hybrid Composite Structures from Collagenous Wastes and Environmental Friendly Polymers: Preparation, Properties and Applications

Hybrid biocomposite materials consisting of an eco-friendly polymer matrix reinforced with natural polymers are becoming increasingly important for structural applications where a combination of high strength, flexibility, stiffness, durability and relatively low weight play as key requirements. Collagen is one of the most widely used natural biopolymers, which originates from the skins of animals. Collagen is a relatively non-extensible protein presenting good stiffness and strength, which suits various applications including the biomedical field. These valuable proteinaceous materials are disposed of as waste, both as uncontaminated during primary steps of leather processing as well as chromium-complexed collagen waste after tanning and post-tanning processes. Herein, we propose greener methods for the formation of different hybrid biocomposite materials by utilizing the proteinaceous wastes generated from the leather industry and the careful choice of environmentally friendly polymers. The biocompatibility, relative abundance, ease of processing, and possibility of mimicking the microenvironment found in vivo are other rationales for selection of the raw material. On the one hand, the collagen extracted from uncontaminated proteinaceous wastes was blended with natural polymers, such as starch, soy and 2-hydroxyethyl cellulose, to form hybrid films without employing any toxic cross-linking agents or synthetic polymers, for biomedical applications. On the other hand, chromium-containing collagenous wastes were blended with eco-friendly polymers such as 2-hydroxyethyl cellulose, polydimethylsiloxane and polyvinylpyrrolidone to form multifunctional hybrid composite sheets for a range of structural applications. Both types of hybrid composite structures have been shown to have improved mechanical, thermal, morphological and other functional properties, which may be suitable for a variety of applications.

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19 Sep 2012
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From the book series:
Green Chemistry Series